Category Archives: Crafting

Sizzling Summer is finally here – if only I was on Tonic Island!

Yes, the sun is shining and the temperatures are soaring, and those of us still in Blighty are sizzling hot and wondering why the weather always leaves us unprepared, come rain, hail or heatwave!

If only I was on Tonic Island, sipping a cool cocktail and listening to the sound of the surf, instead of land locked here in the mid country, enjoying the dubious pleasures of our unpredictable and unreliable climate.

Tonic Island
A postcard from ‘Tonic Island’

But speaking of Tonic Island and all things related to my favourite purveyor of crafty treasures Tonic Studios , leads me on to … *drumroll* … I WON the Win & Tonic Challenge for May!  Cool, huh? Check out my fantastic prize here.

So right now, I want to send a huge thank you to the team who runs the fabulous Win & Tonic, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should head on over and maybe play along, its lots of fun to join in.

I love this month’s challenge, which is: Colour – hot colours, Technique –  anything goes, Product – any flower dies or punches, Theme – a card for a girlie or lady (my favourite cards to make!) 

So to get started, I took a basic yellow card, which I think looks pretty summery. The textured card stock I chose to cut my shapes from is shocking pink – and you can’t get much hotter than that!

I wanted to try one of my fabulous prize dies, so I chose Flora. I wanted to use all of the cut pieces, so I made a pocket using the lacy cut-out.

Just so you know, this die was a dream to use, and only required one pass through my Big Shot. There were four in the Essentials Collection that I won: Ada, Constance, Evelyn and Flora. They are all gorgeously lacy and ultra feminine and cut through card stock supremely well.

Next, I stuck the ‘negative’ cut of the die to the top part of my card. I wanted to use all of the pieces I had cut, and I had one little trim left. On my desk I found a small trim left from when I tried out Evelyn, and I’d cut it in sizzling orange cardstock – how ‘hot’ is shocking pink and vibrant orange? I stuck my trim down and placed the small pink trim over the top – voila!

June Entry 2A

I really wanted to cut a flower out, so using some thinner card stock I cut 6 layers of flower shapes in two sizes. I punched a hole in the middle of each and smudged the edges using a red ink pad. Then I spritzed them with water and scrunched them up! Oh, how satisfying that was!

When my petals were dry, I joined them together with a red brad and placed them slightly off the corner of the card. Almost done, but not quite.

June Entry 2B

I cut a journal card from hot pink and yellow and layered on a sentiment from the latest Tonic Design Collection. I cut a tag using the free die and stuck it to the journal card. Using the free embossing folder I made a Happy Birthday panel and popped it onto the back of my journal tag.

Now I’m done! Best of all, I have a bright glamorous friend who will love to receive my sizzling hot summer birthday card!

What do you think guys?

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

 

 

Flipbooks and snail mail – what’s that all about?

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So I got interested in snail mail. I know. It’s been around forever, but then there was email and then there was Skype. There was messaging and of course, What’sApp. Yada yada. So I forgot how to write. Shameful, isn’t it?

Then one day, I happened across Puddleside Musings – have you visited yet? Oh, you really should, its a lovely website filled with all manner of crafty loveliness. And Emma at Puddleside Musings LOVES snail mail. She was writing about flip books and they were just divine little books that you make from cards and envelopes and other stuff and you fill them with goodies. I just couldn’t resist.

Emma has this whole snail mail thing going on with penpals, who swap flip books and pocket books, all stuffed nicely with journal cards and washi tape and other good things.

I’m not sure I can ever really go back to Snail Mail, now that I’ve walked on the dark side. But the great news is, flipbooks are fun to make and just as lovely to give, so making them is a win win. Writing letters is optional. 😉

Flipbooks, also known as pocket books are little books full of pockets just waiting to be filled with crafty gorgeousness, or photos, or anything that can conceivably be stuffed into small pockets and put in the post.

You can watch Emma’s video here, it really inspired me to try making my own first flip book. She makes them appear to be quite easy to make and they really are. I’ve made several now and I am quite hooked!

Here are some photos of one I made for my lovely sister. We are such great friends and she’s been a fan of snailmail forever, with little treats turning up in the mail for me at unexpected times, so it was nice to return the treat with a flipbook full of tags and other crafty loveliness. I also thought it would be a nice project for the Win & Tonic Monthly Challenge, so I used a palette of neutrals all the way through the book – I love how it turned out!

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Flipbooks are often made by creating pocket pages from envelopes, I used cards and envelopes but I wanted more pockets, so I made small envelopes to use on the other pages.

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I also used shapes that I cut from dies and simply turned them into pockets by sealing down on three sides.

I filled my pockets with tags, journal cards and die cut shapes that I thought my sis would like. Then I added some washi tape samplers and a card of ribbons.

I popped a handwritten note into the first pocket inside and tied the whole book up with a pretty ribbon. Then I popped the little package into the mail and waited for the reaction! I have to report that my sister was delighted and will be able to use all the little goodies on her own projects.

Now, who shall I make one for next? 😉

Till next time – big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

 

 

 

Pretty Little Treat Boxes

Blue Box
Box: Ultimate Pro; Die Cut: Tonic Studios

I love a pretty gift box, don’t you?  So much fun. My two examples here are easy peasy, one is super fast and the other takes a little more effort but the effect is stunning.

The challenge over at Win & Tonic this month calls for an Easter Treat Box. Well, Easter is over but there are plenty of excuses reasons to make a cute box, and with spring teasing us with blossom and sunshine amidst sharp winds and cold frosts, why not break out those spring colours and make pretty treats for our nearest and dearest, even if we can’t put away our winter warmers just yet.

So first up, I made a really quick little box using my Crafters Companion Top Score multiboard. This cute little gizmo boasts that I could make a box in minutes and indeed I did. Dead easy to make – just scoring and folding – and my little box would hold some little chocs very prettily.

I decorated my box with a beautiful shape that I cut using my Tonic Studio Treasured Token mini envelop die set. The shape was exactly the right size, and I backed it with sparkly pink card to make the design pop out.

Green Box April
Treat box with cutouts, using Tonic Studios crystal carousel die set

Next I opened up my Crystal Lantern die by Tonic Studios and made a six sided box. I cut out the sides using two of many optional cut out dies accompanying the main die. I finished it with a layered flower on the top and a double tag that I cut in matching spring colours. The card stock I used was Spring Fest by First Edition. The colours are gorgeous.

You could use this box for all sorts of little treats and they look so pretty on a table for special occasion treats. I made some at Christmas for table presents after dinner.

Little gift boxes are just so much fun, to make and to give, because who wouldn’t appreciate a small gift popped inside a pretty box that has obviously been made with love? There are loads of dies out there for making pretty boxes, but the simple ones made with a few folds are just as effective.

Hope you all have some fun making pretty little treats.

My Crafting Story and Other Jolly Robins, Abridged

All crafters have a crafting story to tell, and this is mine. Abridged.

I grew up in a family of crafters: my dad worked with wood and would build anything for the home that my mother asked. Sometimes more. 😉 My mother, nana and various aunts were all dressmakers, with a little knitting and crochet on the side. I learned to sew at around seven, by thirteen I was making clothes both for myself and my four year old sister.

Later in my teens I stopped crafting for a while, as the topic of relationships grew altogether more satisfying. It was during one such relationship that I was told I would “never get anywhere in life …” because I had a “head full of jolly robins”. This didn’t sound good and I came to the conclusion that the only place I wanted to be was somewhere else. I took custody of my Jolly Robins and moved out. I mention this only because that was as much a beginning for me as an ending and the Jolly Robins have become an integral part of my philosophy on life.

Life should be joyful; it should be loving and giving and it really should include doing things that make you happy. So I chose the name Jolly Robins for my blog because I could and because it made me happy to do so.

My crafting passions have led me down many paths. My bulging craft cupboard and its overflow, the garage, will bear testament to my many experiments into pyrography, encaustic art, pastel painting and other such happy diversions. But my main loves are papercrafting and dressmaking, with a little bag making on the side.

I love to work with wood, turning basic wooden blanks into little treasures that give me delight to create and the recipients an individual gift made just for them. Last year I decorated an Advent House for the very first time, and now I’m decorating a second one.

I always come back to cardmaking as my go to craft. There’s little I enjoy more than being ankle deep in paper and glue and a folder full of cutting dies to choose from. Such a happy dilemma! The joy of giving that specially made little act of creation to a loved one is pretty special.

In January, I promised myself (and my generous critic and long-suffering husband, who gets to witness first hand my crafting projects in all their glory – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) that I would not buy a single card this year.  I am on track and although a spate of birthdays throughout April put the Christmas cards on hold, I am back on the case.

So, patient reader, I decided to recreate my blog. I’ve been blogging for a few years, and although Jolly Robins is still in its infancy, I have a couple of other blogs out there. I will post the links for those who haven’t drifted off to sleep or left the webosphere, if you care to check them out. 😀

And that brings to me the here and now. Reading through my posts, I have realised that they are woefully short on substance and about as useful to a crafter in a rut as a chocolate fireguard. So I decided to remedy that and try to make my happy place a more helpful  resource to other demented crafters in need of a little inspiration or simply a friendly crafting hug at the end of a long day.

Oh, by the way. Here are two pictures of me, drawn by my granddaughters. I think you’ll find they are an excellent likeness, although in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a little older now. 😉

So that’s it folks, thanks for staying with me.

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

Ready, Steady, it’s the Easter Egg Hunt!

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I made these cute bags for my grandies for their Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday. We love having them here for their annual chocolate chase, the faeries are sure to have hidden them lots of little surprises – but what should they collect them in?

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Nana to the rescue! In my craft stash I happen to have a stock of Kraft Lunch Bags – they make great personal gift bags and can be put together in a matter of minutes.

I got to work and using my Tonic Studios Harrop dies I cut out a large scalloped rectangle to decorate the front of each. I cut two large ovals for each from my new Mixed Edge Oval die set, also from Tonic. There are 13 dies in the set, with alternating scalloped and plain edges, so they will get used over and over, but the shape made them perfect for this project.

I finished each mock-choc egg with a ribbon. Some cut bunnies using a gift die from Papercrafter Magazine, and the name, cut using a Sizzix Thinlits alphabet set, finished each bag.

Cute huh? So easy peasy and they take no time at all. So cute I decided to enter them in the Anything Goes Challenge over at Win & Tonic.

Big crafty hugs – Sandie

Hoppy Spring!

Hoppy Spring

I made this happy Hoppy Spring greeting card for the Anything Goes Challenge over at Win & Tonic.

Isn’t this fun? I always celebrate the coming of spring, and I really wanted to make my grandchildren a fun, happy spring card.

I saw this cute bunny die on the front of Papercrafter Magazine, so of course I bought it and then I couldn’t wait to try it out.

For my card, I cut a scalloped square from bright orange and blue card stock, using one of my favourite Tonic die sets, the Harrop Layering Blanks. I cut a pretty floral border and stuck it across the bottom.

I used some panels from Tonic Studios’ Die-Crystal Carousel Box to create the little die, then drew in the tail using a metallic marker pen. I

I created a little greeting on my pc, using word art, and layered it over a Tonic banner die cut.

I love the way the bunnies are literally hopping with joy as the kite flies overhead!  I think my grandies will love it! What do you think?

Hoppy Spring dear Crafty friends

Big hugs – Sandie x

 

Why is it so hard to make cards for guys?

Male Card March 24Anyone else have this trouble?

I’m a girly girl. I love hearts and flowers. I buy shoes, more than I need. French perfume? Yes please. Shopping? Till I drop! Another handbag? Bring it on! Ask me to make a card for a guy? Whaaa? I have no clue.

So, I had to make a card for a man, because I resolved not to buy any cards this year! Clearly didn’t think that one through.

But it turns out, I’m pretty pleased with what I made. In fact, I was so pleased, I entered it into the Win & Tonic Challenge. If you’ve never been over, check it out guys. Its a lot of fun and the prizes donated by Tonic Studios are simply fabulous!

Kraft card seemed a good start. Then I chose some paper from a gorjus paper pack that looked masculine to my eye – not a trace of pink in the pack.  My Tonic Harrop Card Blanks dies came out again and I cut a base layer out of some brown stripe. Then I used one of the dies from Tonic’s Delicate Drape to cut a panel to layer on top.

I cut some tags to layer in the centre, and the top repeated the base layer, with the stripe in the other direction. I embossed this with  Just For You.

Male Card Cropped
Tonic Emboss Die from Delicate Drape Set

Finally I used some brads I had for scrapbooking. I thought they looked great incorporated into my card, so I’ll be using more of my scrapping stash from now on.

Inside I’m going to put another panel and pop a gift voucher inside.

Way to go me – I managed a boy’s card! Now, where’s my pink paper stash? 😉

Big crafy hugs – Sandie